How to Start your Business Website
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I’ve been keeping a close eye on where visitors to our website are coming from and by far most links are from search engines and most of those with the search term “create a website”. This is a good sign for web hosting companies, indicating the market is growing. And growing exponentially as more and more business owners from the biggest to the very smallest realise they cannot afford NOT to have a presence on the internet, as this article on Contact Contact lays out.
If you’ve ever wondered what you need to start your business website, here’s all you need to know.
This article is a quick start guide for a small business owner looking to start their first website, and more particularly the small business owner on a tight budget.
I remember starting my first business website, it was a static single html page website with some contact details and business logo on it, nothing much there and for the time served a purpose, but in today’s more sophisticated world where even the smallest business website is expected to be professional and attractive, it just won’t do.
What you need for a website:
- Domain name – this is the actual website address e.g. www.redhippo.co.za
- A hosting account – the space on a internet web server where the domain “resides” and email accounts are stored.
- The actual website – which at it’s simplest is a collection of pages that visitors view
Where to start:
- First find a reliable, reputable web hosting company – there are an almost innumerable selection, some better than others and some downright awful. My favourite is to speak to someone you know and trust and ask them if they have used a reliable web hosting company before, these first hand referrals are usually extremely good and will save a lot of trouble as changing hosting companies after your website is set up can be a tedious process.
- Now to find a domain name – this will be ordered on the web hosting companies website along with the hosting account to host your new domain name. Finding a good domain name can be tricky especially as the .com .net and other extensions have so many millions of name already registered, making finding a good short domain name difficult. Keep it short and easy for visitors to remember is always the best advice. For tips on how to choose a good domain name be on the lookout for an article coming soon on how to choose a good domain name.
- Choose a suitable web hosting package for your domain, and this is where the website building on a budget comes in. Choose a web hosting package that includes a website building platform either pre-installed or that can be installed with 1-click – and here once again I recommend WordPress as the website building platform of choice as it’s open source which means it’s free, the only thing you will be paying for is the actual web hosting account.
More on WordPress
WordPress will be available as part of your web hosting account either pre-installed or can be 1-click installed from your web hosting account control panel or as a free download from WordPress.org. The latter option while still easy to do is not recommended for the absolute beginner, rather choose a web hosting account where it’s either pre-installed or you can 1-click install it from your web hosting control panel. All Red Hippo web accounts include WordPress either pre-installed or can be 1-click installed.
Working with your Website
Learning any new software takes a bit of effort but fortunately WordPress is easy to use and if you take a little time you’ll be up and running in no time and you can have a professional beautiful website.
From the backend of WordPress you can create new pages, new posts, change themes, upload pictures etc. What I love about WordPress is the thousands of free themes and components and addons that make it possible to do virtually anything you want with your website.
Happy website creating and thank you for reading this far.
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